Breast Feeding

UK Hospital To Charge New Moms For Formula

In a bid to save money a UK hospital will stop giving free formula milk to mothers of newborn babies.

Starting in January, mothers who give birth at Rochdale Infirmary will have to buy £5 tokens from machines in the maternity ward, which can be exchanged for a pack containing 10 bottles of formula and nipples.

There are no facilities to allow parents to bring in and make up their own powdered formula.

Nor can they bring in their own ready-made formula, sterile bottles or nipples as the hospital can’t take responsibility for storing them due to the risk of contamination.

Not providing complimentary formula will save the Pennine Acute Trust, which runs Rochdale Infirmary, about £30,000 a year.

The Trust has told staff that it is ‘not fair to subsidise costs for women who choose not to breastfeed while women who choose to breastfeed receive no financial support,’ but denied that the move was because the hospital is working towards achieving a Unicef Baby Friendly standard.

Moms who deliver between January and March, will be able to ‘borrow’ milk if they don’t have money for tokens.

After March that option will not be offered, as the Trust is planning a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of the change.

I really don’t understand what the big deal is here. Even if a mom cannot breast feed, £5 is not an outrageous amount of money to pay for formula if you need it.

After all, they will need to continue to buy it in order to feed their baby.

Related Articles:


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!


  • It’s a cultural thing; here in the UK our health service is state funded so people don’t expect to pay for much (there is even no charge for any prescriptions or dental care whilst pregnant and in the year after). Rochdale is not an affluent area and £5 is higher than market average for what they are offering. The rub comes when they are not able to provide their own formula at a lower cost. Personally I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t even try to breastfeed but then I live in a very different area.

    Kat x

  • If I may just intervene, I know that breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby and I completely agree that moms should be encourage and help to do so.
    I do not agree with this principle, moreover if you can not bring your own formula.
    And let me add that your pitch that “After all, they will need to continue to buy it in order to feed their baby.” is a little bit strange for me. As hospital feeds you without asking for you to pay, whereas in normal life, you need to pay for your meal..

Leave a Comment